In Romania, the former international and two times champion, while coaching Rapid and Dinamo, has a nickname difficult to accurately translate into another language, as it seems to refer to his physical appearance, while it was meant to define his character. If it was easier, clubs like Khazar Lankaran and Standard Liege would have been better prepared for Mircea Rednic’s arrival…
“Strambul” means in fact “The crooked one” and, as good as he is strictly in terms of coaching, Rednic’s hands-on approach in the club’s transfer activity leads him off-track most of the time. I hope my elegant choice of terms doesn’t go unnoticed
Let’s go back to Rednic’s first adventure abroad, in 2010, when he took over Khazar, a club ready to pay for supremacy in Azerbaijan, so on the table was a two years long deal with 800.000 euros per season for the head coach. That should have been enough, but not for Rednic, who demanded and supervised the arrival of no less than 10 players from Liga 1. Besides some handsome “bonuses” for seeing all these moves through, he won the Cup and finished second in the league, after his first season, which turned out to be also his last. Forced out of the club, he was soon followed by all the players he signed, a reaction that we are seeing now, at a smaller scale, from Standard Liege.
Rednic used to play for “Les Rouches” and looked like a handy solution to the team’s struggles, when he was appointed halfway through last season. Although offered only a temporary deal, the 51 years old got off to such a good start that during the winter break the club’s board had to give in to his demands and move for two players from Liga 1. The first (shocking) move was the signing of Adrian Cristea, an attacking midfielder considered for ages one of the biggest Romanian talents, but also a champion at wasting his gifts and throwing away his career. Ok, it was only a loan with a buying option from Petrolul, but it was still strange to see him risk his reputation and the chance of signing a long term deal with Standard for one of the laziest and least professional players from Liga 1…
The second lead to the transfer of George Tucudean, a young striker from the cash-strapped Dinamo. Although (or because?) Rednic was well-aware of his former club’s financial trouble, Standard came up with a naive offer of 800.000 euros + a 200.000 euros bonus in case the team made it into Europe. A deal that could have been done for half that money, but as an official from the Belgian club whom I’ve crossed during a scouting trip told me this was considered collateral damage. “We know who we’ve signed” were the words that convinced me that, no matter how well Rednic did, he was not there to stay.
Released at the end of last season, although he had resurected the team, winning over the dressing room and the fans, Rednic is now followed by both Cristea and Tucudean. Cristea had his loan terminated, after 8 appearances and no goals (a total of 290 minutes spent on the pitch), while Tucudean, who has a longer deal with the club, was informed that he needs to find himself a new team, as he is out of Standard’s plans. The 22 years old started just one game, played as a sub in 9, failing to find the net and getting himself sent off once. His young age and potential suddenly don’t matter? No, of course not, it’s just that Standard feels that the house needs a proper cleaning process, after Rednic’s stay, a reaction that we’ve seen before and will encounter again in the future. Because “The crooked one”, now in charge of CFR Cluj, doesn’t seem to be lacking offers from clubs with money to
throw away spend.
After Claudiu Niculescu (Universitatea Cluj) and Bogdan Stelea (Astra Ploiesti), round six of the Romanian first division could bring massive changes. Marian Bondrea is the first victim, getting the sack from CS Severin, the team he managed to promote for the first time in Liga I. The team had collected only two points so far and will be coached by Liviu Ciobotariu, who will meet next weekend Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt, defeated yesterday by Viitorul Constanta, at home, a result that determined Costel Enache to ask the board to look for a replacement. “I want them to understand that I cannot control the situation anymore!”, said Enache, a similar statement to the one released by Ionut Popa. The experienced coach of newly-promoted CSMS Iasi had already made an attempt to leave his post before the start of the season and now had another talk with the board, asking to be released!
UPDATE: In spite of an official announcement on CS Turnu Severin’s website, Liviu Ciobotariu refused to take over the team and signed for CSMS Iasi, who released yesterday afternoon Ionut Popa!
And this is not all, as Dorinel Munteanu looks just as determined to leave former champions Otelul Galati. “It’s 99% sure I won’t be coaching this team anymore!”, said the man who holds the record of international caps for Romania, very upset at the financial struggle of a team that two years ago was playing in the Champions League group stage, but also at the struggle for power within the club. “I don’t even know who I’m supposed to talk to about this!”, said Munteanu, who won just one game this season…
So, one coach sacked, three others waving the white flag and waiting for a decision this week, which could have set a new record, considering that Ioan Ovidiu Sabau and Marius Sumudica weren’t feeling so comfortable either, before this round. But Rapid produced a miracle, coming back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 versus CFR Cluj, scoring 3 goals in 20 minutes while playing 10 vs. 11, and FC Vaslui also came back after a terrible 1st half and one goal down to win 3-1 versus Steaua, last night!
Recently departed from CSKA Sofia, where the fans reacted badly to the team’s slimmer chances to win the league and forced him to quit after only five games (2 wins, three draws!), Ioan Andone makes another risky choice.
The former Dinamo defender and coach agreed to sign a contract with The Red Dogs’ fierce rivals from Rapid and the best scenario is that his appointment will be met with a mixed reaction by the club’s radical fans. His credentials as a coach in Romania are solid, but his past will not be easily forgotten and he definitely needs to make an impact from the very first game and in every match played until the end of the season. His goal is to reach a place in Europa League next season and, if he will impress, the contract that should expire in the summer, could be extended for another two years.
- Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt – FC Brasov 2-1 (Mulisa 16, Cebotaru 24 / Savic 23)
First win for Filipovic and Ceahlaul, undefeated in four games now, keeps working and hoping for a miraculous feat. It’s getting pretty embarassing for FC Brasov though, who were tipped with a shot at a European spot, after the first half of season and, without losing players (they even spent some money to enforce the team), coach Viorel Moldovan needs to take some blame for thie very poor start of 2010. After three defeats in a row, Brasov is in no man’s land and the lack of perspective will probably further damage the players’ morale and motivation. After Mulisa‘s opener (nice volley with his right foot, from inside the box), Dusan Savic scored his first goal for FC Brasov, but the Moldova international Cebotaru cancelled immediately the equalizer, in a mad first half. The second one was terrible, but right now both teams will gladly put results above the quality of the display.
- CFR Cluj – Pandurii 1-0 (Alcantara 25)
Unconvincing win for CFR, but a vital one. Poor match decided by the Brazilian centre back who now has the same number of goals scored (4) like his team-mate Yssouf Kone, who’s considered the best striker in the league, but has disappointed this season and will probably part ways with the Romanian club in the summer. Bud has won again the fight for a place in the first elevn with Lacina Traore, who is unsettled by the constant discussion regarding his future, and the Romanian centre forward offered a decent display, going close to a goal in the first half. Pandurii, on the other hand, came looking for a draw, having back on the bench the defensive architect Sorin “Sorinaccio” Cartu, but the experienced coach has a lot of work to do, in order to keep his team above the relegation zone. Read more…